Anacreontic to a Plumassier


Fine and feathery artisan,
Best of Plumists (if you can
With your art so far presume)
Make for me a Prince's Plume —
Feathers soft and feathers rare,
Such as suits a Prince to wear.

First thou' downiest of men,
Seek me out a fine Pea-hen;
Such a Hen; so tall and grand,
As by Juno's side might stand,
If there were no cocks at hand.
Seek her feathers, soft as down,
Fit to shine on Prince's crown;
If thou canst not find them, stupid!
Ask the way of Prior's Cupid,

Ranging these in order due,
Pluck me next an old Cuckoo;
Emblem of the happy fates
Of easy, kind, cornuted mates.
Pluck him well — be sure you do —
Who would n't be an old Cuckoo,
Thus to have his plumage blest,
Beaming on a Royal crest?

Bravo, Plumist i — now what bird
Shall we find for Plume the third?
You must get a learned Owl,
Bleakest of black-letter fowl —
Bigot bird that hates the light,
Foe to all that 's fair and bright.
Seize his quills, (so formed to pen
Books that shun the search of men;
Books that, far from every eye,
In " sweltered venom sleeping " lie,)
Stick them in between the two,
Proud Pea-hen and Old Cuckoo.
Now you have the triple feather,
Bind the kindred stems together
With a silken tie whose hue
Once was brilliant Buff and Blue;
Sullied now — alas, how much!
Only fit for Yarmouth's touch.

There — enough — thy task is done;
Present, worthy George's Son;
Now, beneath, in letters neat,
Write " I SERVE , " and all 's complete.
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